NLRB orders Tesla to respond to allegations of unfair labor practices
- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered automaker Tesla to respond to workers' complaints of unfair labor practices and for interfering with union-related activity, Los Angeles Times reports. The NLRB filed the the response order on behalf of Tesla workers Jonathan Galescu, Michael Sanchez and Richard Ortiz and the Service Employees International Union Local 2015 (SEIU).
- The employees' grievances include Tesla's restrictive rules on protecting the company's proprietary information, according to the Times. Tesla tells workers they'll face termination or prosecution if they talk about confidential information with people outside the company, take or post photos of the plant, or forward emails to personal accounts or to others outside the company.
- The workers also complained that Tesla security guards told off-duty employees to leave the company's site while union leaflets were being distributed, says the Times. Workers also allege that a supervisor told them during a pre-shift meeting that they couldn't pass out union-related materials.
Tesla workers complained about the company's treatment of them back in February. At issue were unsafe plant conditions, excessive work hours to meet production demands, interference with union organizing, non-competitive wages and intimidation stemming from reports of misconduct. Tesla allegedly fired a female worker for making a sexual harassment complaint, as well.
Companies like Tesla are commended for being innovative, but if their employment practices are unfair or violate the law, the public's focus will be on only the scandals, rather than the exceptional product or service they provide. Merely shaking up the HR leadership won't be affective without overhauling the culture that generates bad practices — as we've seen occur with the continuation of the Wells Fargo scandal.